5pm-Budget Compromise Leads to Higher Education Increases

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Senate broke through a budget stalemate on Wednesday by approving a bill to increase funding to veterans' homes. As part of the compromise, seven universities would receive additional funding.

Since Monday, any and all attempts of action on the Senate floor had been filibustered by Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau. Crowell had vowed to block votes on the budget and every other piece of legislation unless several changes were made to the budget, including removing a $2 million increase passed by the house for Southeast Missouri State University.

Under the compromise, the $2 million earmark for SEMO would be replaced by $3 million to be divided among various universities based on disparities in current funding. SEMO would still receive the most additional funds at approximately $886,000.

The University of Missouri and Missouri State University are the only two universities that would not receive any part of the additional $3 million. A spokesperson for Senate Republicans said this is because they are not regional universities.

"When you look and some of these schools are getting a couple hundred thousand dollars, it really pales in comparison to the fact that the University of Missouri is in the tens of millions of dollars over what these schools get, so it's really, it's not the same comparison," Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia.

Democrats in the Senate didn't voice any opposition to the funding compromise. The legislature has until Friday at 6 p.m. to send a budget to the governor or it would need to hold a special session.